Participate! Helping young people explore discipleship and vocation
Turning the phrase “young people are the church of today not just tomorrow” into a reality is easier said than done. It’s not just a one off project. It takes more than including young people on a rota or inviting them to a meeting where they dramatically reduce the average age. It requires the whole church to participate in creating an environment where young people can begin to recognise and explore their gifts and have the confidence to express, and have them affirmed, and sometimes not get things right, in a safe and supportive environment. All this is part of Christian discipleship & vocation for young people and the whole church both in the church and community context.
“Participate!” is a resource that really can offer young people, churches and their communities, the opportunity to make this journey together. Divided into seven sessions, Participate explores issues of personal and communal identity, how God relates to us both as individuals and corporately and how we can find ourselves and our place within community as we grow and express ourselves as followers of Jesus.
The book comes with many of the resources you will need to prepare for the sessions and an accompanying participation journal for young people to record their personal thoughts, feelings and ideas so that beyond the group sessions the reflection, thinking and growing continues.
Participate is not just theory, throughout the session there are opportunities and challenges to relate ideas and discussion to real communities, both within and outside the church, culminating in a placement where young people can “try it” in practice.
The whole journey can be transformative for those who participate, and that’s not just the young people, it can be the leaders, placement supervisors, parents, and the whole church.
One of the themes of the Bi-annual MAYC “Breakout” events a few years ago was “Come and have a go!” If you, your church, and young people want to take seriously God’s call for us to be a nurturing community where we support one another’s discipleship and explore our vocation, then come and have a go. Participate! is a well thought through resource prepared by those who have years of experience of youth work in a church and community context.